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Male urinary system
Male urinary system


Bence-Jones protein - quantitative

Definition:

This test measures the level of abnormal proteins called Bence-Jones proteins in the urine.



Alternative Names:

Immunoglobulin light chains - urine; Urine Bence-Jones protein



How the Test is Performed:

A clean-catch urine sample is needed. The clean-catch method is used to prevent germs from the penis or vagina from getting into a urine sample. To collect your urine, the health care provider may give you a special clean-catch kit that contains a cleansing solution and sterile wipes. Follow instructions exactly so that the results are accurate.



How the Test will Feel:

The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.



Why the Test is Performed:

Bence-Jones proteins are a part of regular antibodies called light chains. These proteins are not normally in urine. Sometimes, when your body makes too many antibodies, the level of light chains also rises. Bence-Jones proteins are small enough to be filtered out by the kidneys. Then they spill over into the urine.

Your doctor may order this test:

  • To diagnose health conditions that lead to protein in the urine
  • If you have a lot of protein in your urine
  • If you have signs of multiple myeloma

Urine immunofixation is a better test for detecting Bence-Jones proteins.



Normal Results:

A normal result means no Bence-Jones proteins are found in your urine.



What Abnormal Results Mean:

Bence-Jones proteins are rarely found in urine. If they are, it is usually associated with multiple myeloma .

An abnormal result may also be due to:



References:

McPherson RA, Ben-Ezra J. Basic examination of urine. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 28.




Review Date: 5/29/2014
Reviewed By: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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Goryeb Children's Hospital

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Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

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